Sudan: UN Wants Apaches in Darfur


March 6, 2006: It was recently revealed that, in late February, the UN asked the US to provide tactical air support for African Union peacekeepers deployed in Sudan's Darfur region. This tactical air support meant "combat helicopters" (suggesting Apache AH-64 attack helicopters and UH-60 transport helicopters for air assault infantry).

March 4, 2006: The political fight over deploying a UN-led mission to Sudan Darfur region has gotten hotter. Sudan threatened to withdraw from the African Union if the AU's Peace and Security Council approves the UN request to hand over the Darfur peacekeeping mission.

March 3, 2006: The Russian Air Force will begin flying an "advance troop task force" into Sudan sometime after April 20. These Russian troops are scheduled to serve with the UN peacekeeping mission in southern Sudan (not Darfur). The initial Russian force will consist of 200 troops and four helicopters.

There was renewed fighting on the Chad-Sudan border. Sudanese refugees continue to filter into Chad, but fighting inside Chad has created a "counter-flow" of refugees from Chad into Sudan.

February 28, 2006: Terrorists (possibly aligned with Al Qaeda) have said that they will attack Jan Pronk, the chief UN representative in Sudan, and any non-African peacekeeping troops in Sudan. Terrorists present in Sudan would target UN peacekeepers. The Sudan government has rejected UN appeals to increase troops in Sudan's western Darfur region and move control of the peacekeeping operation from the African Union (AU) to the United Nations. The AU has 7000 troops in the Darfur region. The UN plan calls for at least 20000 troops. On February 25 the Sudan government said that international troops would be "at risk" if they deployed to Sudan.


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